So I finally did it, with all this talk of SOPA and PIPA I have been diligently questioning how valid the movement to the cloud really is. Well I must say I owe a great bit of gratitude to the existence of the cloud. I wanted to launch a service and I had virtually no money to buy hardware and test things out in a public way. Rackspace enabled me to easily throw together a few Linux boxes on demand and voila I was deploying my code.
The service oriented architecture of things like Harvest and Jira Studio have given me access to useful project management and business management services. Without those cloud hosted services I would not have been able to take on some of the things I was able to take on last year.
Well at the end of the year it seemed like it was time to make an investment in the growth of Neosavvy. So along with some advice from a trusted colleague I began planning the new server that will host NETS and other Neosavvy services. The cost of running things in the cloud adds up. Its $1000/yr for Jira studio, and $550/yr for Harvest (5 users) and nearly $3000 / year for rackspace on 3 relatively small servers. Actually purchasing hardware and leveraging CentOS with XenServer Hypervisor has enabled me to spin up 10 beefy virtual servers and there is room for 10 more for additional processing power.
Having the opportunity to get closer to the hardware has been an absolute pleasure as well. With the cloud of course you don’t have to do any of this planning, procurement, interoperability of hardware, or systems administration. Getting the opportunity to work with it is fun and exhilarating and oftentimes the reason people get into computing to begin with. It isn’t all just about the software.
So while I don’t necessarily think the cloud is a bad place for things to get started, I do think that it is the wrong way to cost effectively grow a business. The cost of setting up services in the cloud is far greater than the cost to run and maintain servers by a trained professional. In the new year I plan to write about some of the network topology I am introducing and systems admin tricks I am leaning on to make my network provide services to run Neosavvy as a business.